EU trade: Council agrees its position on revamped enforcement regulation
The EU is making it easier to protect its trade interests and rights in a situation where the World Trade Organization (WTO) is for the time being unable to deliver binding dispute settlement decisions if the WTO member appeals a panel report.
European ambassadors meeting in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) yesterday approved the Council's position on amending a regulation concerning the application and enforcement of international trade rules by the EU. The Council position on the so-called EU enforcement regulation will be the basis for the Presidency to negotiate with the European Parliament.
Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister for Foreign and European affairs of Croatia and President of the Council yesterday said:
"Our first choice is and will always be multilateralism. However, we must ensure that we can protect our trade interests and enforce our rights, including through the use of sanctions, if others block the resolution of a trade conflict"
The existing EU enforcement regulation has been in place since 2014. It provides a common legislative framework for the enforcement of the EU’s rights under international trade agreements. Thanks to these rules the Commission has been able to impose counter measures at the end of a dispute settlement procedure, once it has received authorisation from the WTO.
Given the current paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body, the existing rules needed to be updated to allow the Commission to take action in a situation where dispute settlement procedures are blocked. The main focus of the proposed amendment is to cater for situations where, after the EU has succeeded in obtaining a favourable ruling from a WTO dispute settlement panel, the process is blocked because the other party appeals a WTO panel report “into the void” and has not agreed to interim appeal arbitration under Article 25 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding. In such cases, the new rules introduce the possibility of imposing sanctions such as customs duties, quantitative restrictions on imports or exports of goods, and measures in the area of public procurement.
The Commission will also have the right to take countermeasures when a trade partner under a bilateral or regional trade agreement imposes illegal trade measures and subsequently blocks the dispute settlement process under that agreement.
The Council position remains close to the spirit of the Commission's proposal, but provides for a review clause which calls on the Commission to assess the functioning of the new rules and assess a potential need for extending the scope to services and intellectual property rights at the latest within three years from adoption of the regulation.
Following yesterday's agreement, the Council is ready to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as the latter has agreed its stance.
A qualified majority is needed for adoption by the Council, in agreement with the European Parliament.
+32 2 281 21 46
+32 470 88 04 02
+32 2 281 24 63
+32 470 88 23 83
Latest News from
ESMA Provides Guidance on The Compliance Function Under MIFID II05/06/2020 16:43:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, today publishes the final guidelines on the MiFID II compliance function.
Returning to free movement across borders is of utmost importance05/06/2020 16:08:00
A swift return to a fully functional Schengen area is needed to safeguard freedom of movement and ensure the EU’s economic recovery, says the Civil Liberties Committee.
Space policy for a sustainable economy: Council adopts conclusions05/06/2020 15:25:00
Space policy can play an important role in achieving a sustainable EU economy.
Coronavirus inquiry: Our letter to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan05/06/2020 14:33:00
Today, we have launched an inquiry into the impact of coronavirus on ethnic minorities, as the pandemic has shone a light on long-standing, structural race inequality in Britain.
Speech by President von der Leyen at the Global Vaccine Summit05/06/2020 13:25:00
Speech given yesterday by President von der Leyen at the Global Vaccine Summit.
Speech of Vice President Věra Jourová on countering disinformation amid COVID-19 “From pandemic to infodemic”05/06/2020 12:38:00
Speech given yesterday by Vice President Věra Jourová on countering disinformation amid COVID-19 “From pandemic to infodemic”.
ESMA Promotes Convergence in The Supervision of Costs in UCITS And AIFS05/06/2020 11:33:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, yesterday published a supervisory briefing on the supervision by National Competent Authorities (NCAs) of costs applicable to Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).
Public access to Council documents: 2019 report05/06/2020 09:25:00
The Council recently (03 June 2020) approved its annual report on the implementation of Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents.
Yemen: EU allocates over €70 million to help most vulnerable population05/06/2020 08:10:00
The Commission will provide new funding of €70 million in Yemen, as the coronavirus threatens to worsen one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, where famine already looms.